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Related to ropes: Tropes

the ropes

1. The details or know- how about a specific situation, task, job, or role. I know there's a lot to take in, but your partner has been here for over 10 years and will show you the ropes. This class is intense! You're expected to know the ropes from day one.
2. A point or position close to defeat or ruin. (A reference to a boxer who is pinned against the ropes that border the ring.) The company has been on the ropes following the disastrous release of their latest product. The newcomer has the incumbent against the ropes in the polls.
See also: rope
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


Fig. knowledge of how to do something; how to work something. (*Typically: know ~; learn ~; show someone ~; teach someone ~.) I'll be able to do my job very well when I know the ropes. John is very slow to learn the ropes.
See also: rope
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
When we judged we had gone half a mile, we momently expected to see the guide; but no, he was not visible anywhere; neither was he waiting, for the rope was still moving, consequently he was doing the same.
Danny did his best, but Rivera, at the count of eight, instead of nine, came unexpectedly through the ropes and safely into a clinch.
The ape-man had acted so quickly that he had been unable to prepare himself to withstand the strain and shock of Numa's great weight upon the rope, and so it was that though the rope stopped the beast before his mighty talons could fasten themselves in the flesh of the black, the strain overbalanced Tarzan, who came tumbling to the ground not six paces from the infuriated animal.
He emphasised the difference between fore and aft generally by rubbing Harvey's nose along a few feet of the boom, and the lead of each rope was fixed in Harvey's mind by the end of the rope itself.
At the height of his leap the rope tightened taut on his neck, causing him to describe a somersault and fall heavily to the floor on his side.
Lip-lip might face the pack, but he could not face that whip, and all that was left him to do was to keep his long rope taut and his flanks ahead of the teeth of his mates.
For an instant I paused, my ear close to the panel, to learn if he had suspected aught, but as no sound of pursuit came from within I wheeled and made my way along the new corridor, following the rope, which I coiled and brought with me as I advanced.
For an instant the spreading noose hung above her head like a great snake, and then, as she looked upward to detect the origin of the swishing sound of the rope, it settled about her neck.
Hans takes Gretel, ties her to a rope, leads her to the rack, and binds her fast.
By this time the lion's efforts had almost ceased--it was evident that he was being rapidly strangled and as that did not at all suit the purpose of the Tarmangani the latter swung again into the tree, unfastened the rope from above and lowered the lion to the ground where he immediately followed it and loosed the noose about Numa's neck.
This would be the strongest, the heaviest rope that Tarzan of the Apes ever had fashioned.
They had helped to release the rope, and of course not.
Fedallah; and then settling his firm relying eye upon the chief mate, said, -- Take the rope, sir --I give it into thy hands, Starbuck.
Wolf Larsen rove a bowline in a piece of rope and slipped it under his shoulders.
It is merely a very long rope which is suffered to trail from the car, and the effect of which is to prevent the balloon from changing its level in any material degree.